In principle, several methods for the treatment of prostate cancer are available, which are used individually, sometimes combined. Which method is used depends above all on how far the prostate cancer has grown into the surrounding tissue and whether metastases have already formed. In addition, previous illnesses and age also play a role in prostate cancer treatment. The goal is healing (curative therapy) - which is easier to achieve the sooner the prostate cancer is discovered. If he has not broken through the capsule of the prostate gland, the chances of recovery of prostate cancer are up to 100 percent. If the tumor is already well advanced and has formed metastases, it is sometimes only possible to intervene to relieve symptoms and to try to prevent or slow down further tumor spread (palliative therapy).
Prostate cancer treat in many ways
Possible forms of treatment for prostate cancer (prostate cancer) include:
- Operation of the prostate
- Hormone therapy
- Other forms
Prostate surgery for prostate cancer
Prostate surgery is the method of choice if the tumor is still restricted to the prostate gland. The prostate is completely removed (radical prostatectomy), in addition to the two seminal vesicles.
Prostate surgery is also performed in more advanced prostate cancer with metastases, but less often leads to healing, but more likely to relieve the symptoms. It also removes affected lymph nodes. Prostate cancer surgery is possible either through abdominal or laparoscopy - although, according to studies, surgical results are more likely to depend on the surgeon's experience than on the access route.
Radiotherapy for prostate cancer
Irradiation is an alternative to surgery, for example when it can not be done due to age or health reasons. In percutaneous radiotherapy, the radiation is from the outside, in brachytherapy, a radiation source is introduced directly to the prostate cancer in the prostate gland and destroys the cancer cells from the inside.
Irradiation also helps to kill cancer cells left over after prostate surgery, thus reducing the risk that the cancer will recur (recurrence). In addition, radiotherapy for prostate cancer is also used for the targeted destruction of metastases and in the context of palliative therapy for pain relief.
Hormone therapy for prostate cancer
The treatment method called hormone therapy (also Hormonentzugstherapie) is used in advanced prostate cancer. In the process, the male sex hormone testosterone is inhibited permanently or at intervals with medication, thus slowing or arresting cancer growth from prostate cancer. In hormone therapy, either the formation of testosterone is suppressed (with LHRH analogs or GnRH antagonists) or its activity on the cells blocked (by anti-androgens).
Chemotherapy in prostate cancer
When treated with chemotherapy, infusion of drugs (cytostatics) destroys cancer cells in various ways to treat prostate cancer. However, healthy cells are also affected - which explains the side effects. Because of this, chemotherapy for prostate cancer is done in several cycles - with rest periods in between. It is used in advanced prostate cancer and delays the course of the disease.
Other forms of prostate cancer treatment
Pain in bone metastases is treated by targeted radiation and medical inhibitors of bone loss (bisphosphonates). Active monitoring is also one way to treat prostate cancer: Since the treatment of prostate cancer also has side effects and the tumor usually grows very slowly, in some cases (small tumor, older age), the "wait and see" strategy is also used first, Thus, the prostate cancer therapy can be bypassed or at least delayed.
In addition, the pain, side effects such as chemotherapy and the after-effects of surgery are also treated; In addition, psychological support is offered in the treatment of prostate cancer.